CHRIS Ashton is the latest big name confirmed to be appearing at The Haberden on Sunday for this year’s ULR International Premier Sevens tournament.
Hundreds of spectators are expected to be in attendance to witness the full England Sevens squad – including England captain and world record points scorer Ben Gollings – take on the likes of Saracens and the Northampton Saints.
And Ashton, who took the Six Nations by storm when he became the first person to score four tries in a single match in the competition, will present the prizes and meet spectators as the event’s guest of honour.
“The excitement has been building by the day,” said Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club’s playing chairman Mike Robinson. “Chris Ashton is coming to present prizes and mingle with the crowd, so there will be an opportunity for autographs and pictures.
“The biggest thing for us is that every year we have improved the event. We have an even bigger behind-the-scenes organising team this year.
“We are always looking at how we can make things more professional and a better experience for the spectators.”
Ashton returns having impressed in the event as a young Northampton Saints player two years ago.
Since then, he has gone from an exciting prospect to shouldering England’s hopes at this year’s World Cup.
Although Ashton won’t take to the pitch, the full England Sevens squad will as a warm-up for their bid to claim the IRB World Sevens Series.
They are currently second behind New Zealand, ahead of the final rounds at Twickenham and Murrayfield.
Robinson added: “This is the first time that a full international team has visited this region, let alone it being the England team.
“It’s a fantastic opportunity for all sports fans to get up close and personal to watch their idols perform at the highest level.
“We are expecting a huge turnout from both rugby fans and families looking for an action-packed, fun-filled day out.”
The family-orientated event, which this year boasts Twickenham’s IRB World Sevens Series announcer Pete Nuttall, more children’s activities and a fun fair, is in its third year at Bury St Edmunds Rugby Club.
Entry is £7 for adults and £3 for children up to 14 years, while under-fives go free.
The first match kicks off at 11am, with the final expected to begin at 5.30pm.